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Old    Chattwake (chattwake)      Join Date: Jan 2010       07-02-2013, 8:36 AM Reply   
I'm curious as to what people think are the five most important features of any particular wakeboat. What I mean is if you limit yourself to focusing on five absolute MUST HAVES. Rank them accordingly. This is totally subjective - meaning think only about what matters to you. Here are mine:

1. Wake Quality - I'm still of the school where I will absolutely not buy a boat if the wake is not top tier. No matter how nice a boat is, or what other features it has, I would not consider buying it if the wake is not versatile, consistent, non-tempermental and easy to replicate.

2. Surfability - The older I have gotten, I've come to enjoy surfing more and more. It's fun, doesn't hurt, and can be done in conditions that would ruin a wakeboarding set. My kids are not scared to ride with me, and my wife and her friends enjoy surfing as well. I would not consider purchasing a boat that will not produce a surfable wave. That being said, it's not as important of a factor to me as the wakeboard wake quality.

3. Plug-n-play - Not that I have owned 3 boats with integrated piggy back ballast systems in them, I would not go back to a boat that does not offer this technology. The time it takes and the hastle factor relative to using manual non-permanent pumps really sucks. Would I consider buying a boat with no plug-n-play option? Possibly, but that would mean I'd have to modify the factory ballast system somehow to add extra weight.

4. Dealer Network - While this is not necessarily a boat specific option, the importance of having a good local dealer cannot be overstated. I have had issues with every single boat I've purchased, which required dealer involvement in some form or fashion. It would be extremely hard for me to consider purchasing a boat if there was not a local dealer whom I could trust to service it.

5. Solid Tower - I cannot stress the importance of having a good, solid tower. Maybe most boats have dialed this option in, but I remember how bad the FCT1 tower on my 2008 SANTE 230 shook when I added boards and speakers to it. It's so nice to have a rock solid, non-shaking, creaking, flexable tower. If I can't get a solid and stable tower, no mater how nice the boat is, I would have a hard time purchasing that boat.

What are your top 5 options/considerations?
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       07-02-2013, 8:58 AM Reply   
1. Design/looks
2. use of space/storage
3. versatility of wake
4. has the normal features(integrated ballast, PP, tower, racks) but is simple
5. good dealer network
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       07-02-2013, 8:58 AM Reply   
I only have three.

1. Wake quality and versatility. I like how the Malibu wake changes shape quickly with wedge and ballast adjustments.

2. Accurate speed control. No surging or cycling. Must hold the speed steady.

3. Dealer support. Do they care about getting issues resolved quickly? Do they fix everything the first time? Do they support the local wakeboarding community and local events?

4. Interior. It needs to stay together. Nothing worse than the windshield rattling, seams breaking, and stuff coming loose in the first year to make you feel like the manufacturer is slipping on QC.

5. Snap out carpet has become a must for me. But I think all new boats have it these days.

I prefer an awful surf wake. That way no one will want to surf behind my boat. :-)
Old    Baitkiller (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       07-02-2013, 9:20 AM Reply   
Interesting how everyone is listing accessories as priorities.

1) Deck water management. Most boats this is an afterthought. I ride in salt and where the water goes is very important. it also tells allot about the builder / designer.
2) Access: If I cant change the impeller or oil without unreasonable effort I,m out.
3) Quality of the interior: No wood backing, all stainless or monel staples and double stitched vinyl.
4) Does my wife like it.
The wake isnt mentioned because Im a mere mortal and most boats are fine. We just have fun with stock or human ballast.
Old    Ryan K (FastR3DN3K)      Join Date: Jun 2013       07-02-2013, 9:30 AM Reply   
I'm pretty close to you on these, so I must be getting older too. LOL

1. Versatility: I would lump surfability into this category, but overall I wanted a boat that had the ability to dial in the wake like I wanted for just about any style riding I like to do. Since I've gotten older I don't do nearly as many air tricks as I use to since it takes a pretty good toll on my body, but from time to time I have some younger guys that like to throw down big. I can adjust the wake down a bit for my comfort, or turn it way up for them to really hammer some good tricks. Plus we also like to ski, tube, and kneeboard from time to time on top of surfing and wakeboarding as well. A boat that can be turned down or way up for all these different needs was my biggest factor.

2. Usability: This is kinda a weird category for most, but hear me out. I had an 18.5' Bayliner for a couple years and we found that it got crowded quick, the motor was underpowered, and wasn't really good for serious wakesports, even after adding a tower. Just about the only thing it was good for was riding around on smoother water (it hated rough water) and anchoring out at party cove and getting drunk. Now I've got a 24' wakeboat that we've had 12 people on and still had plenty of room, tons of storage, tons of horsepower, great for all the different riding styles we do, and still felt like the boat could handle anything we could throw at it. Those things make it more user-friendly/usable in my book.

3. Dealer network/service department: I know this is going to be different for many people depending on region and brand, but being in Texas I decided on a Tige for their service. I know they don't have the biggest dealer network around, but in since they're based out of Texas they're pretty good locally, and their included factory service is second to none. It was actually one of the deciding factors for me to finally pull the trigger on a boat.

4. Tower Quality/Features: After buying and installing my own tower on my old boat, I quickly learned the difference in buying quality/factory built stuff. Not that my tower was junk, it just took a lot more work to keep it solid and tight. Plus there is no worse feeling than drilling into the fiberglass of a brand new boat unsure if it was a good idea or not. Nowadays, especially on the newer wakeboats, the towers are rock solid, and worth the extra money in my book. I'm not one to let the tower design/shape be a factor for my buying decision as much as I am for the tower options and features. The Samson racks and extended bimini on my Tige were some of my favorite options of any boat I looked at. And I'm not really into being "that guy" on the water with a dozen speakers hanging from his tower either, so the factory Rev10s are fine for me for now, and I still haven't decided if I'm gonna add another set of Rev8s to the spare mounts

5. Color: I know this one is stupid, but unfortunately the only way I could get into a brand new boat was if my wife got to pick the color. They had a 2012 leftover for sale at my dealer that was about $15k cheaper than the 2013 and I actually liked the color better (neon green/white/black accents). But the wife hated the color and I was forced to buy the baby blue/black 2013 instead. And you all know the old saying about "If mama ain't happy..."
Old    Mark (FunkyBunch)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-02-2013, 9:44 AM Reply   
What I want for myself and what I want for the family is a little different.

1. Wake Quality / Plug n Play "Its the reason we buy these boats. I put these together because they are related."
2. Interior space behind the windshield/ snap out carpet.
3. Good rough water ride.
4. Overall Design, Tower, Z5, tower mirror.
5. Dealer network. Good Service
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-02-2013, 9:49 AM Reply   
1) Wake. Consistency is most important for me in this category. Something that can be clean at low speeds for beginners and kids or jacked up for advanced riders with some extra weight. A wake that needs speeds in excess of 22-23 to stay clean is a problem to me. The falls just hurt that much more with the extra speed.

2) Surf Wave. Its boring to me but everyone else loves surfing. Well, everyone but some of us on WW.

3) Interior seating. A lot of space and rear facing seats are something we use ALL the time. Heated seats are just a plus in Canada.

4) Storage. You can never have enough. This varies a lot from boat to boat.

5) Tower that doesn't shake, that's easy to fold and doesn't have speakers hanging down that you hit your head on every time.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       07-02-2013, 10:27 AM Reply   
1. Minimal electronics: No fuel injection, no computers, no touchscreens. Only fancy electronics should be Perfect Pass and the ignition trigger. For me reliability is the most important thing, so I want everything tried and true and simple to fix on the water with a basic tool set should there ever be a problem.

2. Wake: Wake must be clean and enjoyable. I'm no pro so I'm sure I'm less picky than most folks here but I need a clean wake and preferably more rampy than like a wall.

3. Design/styling: Must have classic styling. Square windshield preferred, nice clean lines, good gel and not wrapped, etc.

4. Construction/build: Prefer all composite construction or at least composite stringers. No foam, good drainage to bilge, good bilge design, minimal chopper gun use, thick layup, etc. Hard to get it all, but these are important considerations.

5. Engine: Prefer Ford but not a deal breaker as nearly all marine big blocks are Chevy and around early-mid 90s, the last of the nicely styled boats, most manufacturers switched to SBC as the standard engine. This can always be changed later to a Ford engine. SBC and SBF are more or less identical, BBC is vastly inferior to the 385 series Ford though. I also have far more experience building Ford engines so I prefer what I'm familiar with and can easily build for power and reliability.

Most of this can be changed or improved upon, but you need a good hull to start with. One that throws a decent wake and has decent styling. The rest can be modified to suit tastes and preferences or correct many things that may be lacking from the factory. Most boats will be a compromise, it's just a matter of deciding which things are more important which I suppose is the purpose of this thread.
Old    Scott (scotthons)      Join Date: Mar 2010       07-02-2013, 10:43 AM Reply   
1. Wake - consistency is nice
2. Perfect pass - had a boat without and now have one with and it is amazing
3. Seating - had a direct drive with terrible seating and now have a v-drive and the difference is huge
4. Storage - not that we bring a ton of stuff with us, but having enough storage is great
5. Reliability - knowing the boat is going to fire up when she gets launched is a great feeling
Old    Jay (ironj32)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-02-2013, 11:29 AM Reply   
All of the following are specific to wakeboarding.

1. Wake size.
2. Wake consistency (port vs starboard).
3. Wake shape.
4. Wake firmness.
5. Driveability of the boat when items 1-4 are good to go.
Old    Wayne Robbins (melton1wake)      Join Date: Oct 2011       07-02-2013, 11:51 AM Reply   
1. Wake - all aspects
2. Reliabiity - everything else is useless if your boat is out of service
3. Speed control
4. How the boats performs while driving - handling and power
5. Storage
A lack of any of these is a deal killer for me, luckily most of the new boats out today cover these points very well.
Old    DBC (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       07-02-2013, 11:54 AM Reply   
  1. Big stereo
  2. Lots of metal flake
  3. Nice trailer wheels
  4. Screens, screens, and more screens
  5. What my neighbor thinks

Old    Ryan (Wakesounds)      Join Date: May 2011       07-02-2013, 1:05 PM Reply   
Its too bad the price tag always gets in the way if our dreams!
Old    Robert A (cocheese)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-02-2013, 1:22 PM Reply   
Cup holders!! Gotta have hundreds of them.
Old    rzap (zap)      Join Date: Jan 2009       07-02-2013, 1:26 PM Reply   
Wake quality and boat reliability.

Any other attributes only come into play when we are at home debating boats on wake world.

When you are on the water all we realy care about is will it run? an can I do what i want to do behind it.
Old    rzap (zap)      Join Date: Jan 2009       07-02-2013, 1:26 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixfe View Post
  1. Big stereo
  2. Lots of metal flake
  3. Nice trailer wheels
  4. Screens, screens, and more screens
  5. What my neighbor thinks

Ha ha ha ha ha
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       07-02-2013, 1:27 PM Reply   
Functional trailer -- she don't float if she don't get to the lake. Great brakes are a must have.

Wake -- consistent and easy for beginners and intermediates @22-23. Easy surf wake.

Size -- big enough but not too big.

Tower -- solid, even with weight. Not a big fan of forward swept towers for stereo reasons (blasting out cabin occupants unnecessarily).

Dealer support -- she don't float if she don't run.
Old    Johnny (johnny_defacto)      Join Date: Sep 2006       07-02-2013, 1:29 PM Reply   
1. WAKE - I chose my boat solely based on this.

2. Speed control - hold speed, simple to use and show others quickly, reliable.

3. Tons of ballast on switches without hand filling sacks... no visible sacks or lead, no stepping over sacks, no wet pumps and cords on the floor.

4. handling - mainly ease of driving, turning, maneuverability... not necessarily rough water ride... why ride in rough water?

5. interior designed for wakeboarding/watersports. So seat configuration, basically. I like how nautiques new 210 is set up, as well as the G series, supras, Axis, and now master craft.
Old    Seahawks #1 Fan Robert T (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       07-02-2013, 5:00 PM Reply   
1 Looks- it has to have style and be a eye catcher.
2 Versatile wake good surf ,wakeboard and ski wake.
3 Speed Control a must to save a marriage.
4 Seating layout and entry/exit layout as well as rear deck setup to put on your board.
5 Stereo you got to have tunes.
6 Automatic ballast i couldn't do just 5 sorry.
Old    Eric (wakeboardin2k4)      Join Date: Sep 2006       07-02-2013, 5:13 PM Reply   
1. How many girls are on it
2. Cupholders
3. Beer
4. Music
5. Stripper pole
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       07-02-2013, 8:47 PM Reply   
I don't get the whole dealer support thing. I'm on the 3rd year with our Malibu and have never set foot in the Malibu dealer.

1. Speed control. Best $1050 I have spent on the boat. Wife loves it, I love it...must have IMO. Much better boating experience having it and about the only way to get a reliable surf wave

2. Wake. No use if the wake sucks. That said, most wakeboats of the past 10-15 years, when properly weighted, make a wake suitable for 90% of us.

3. Auto ballast without bags laying everywhere. Ugh, I HATED bags on the seat and throwing pumps over the side. Never want to do that again.

4. No wood. Wood sucks in a boat, luckily not really a probably anymore

5. V-drive. Don't want to deal with the motor in the middle. Sure as hell don't want an I/O or outboard!
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       07-03-2013, 6:25 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrousbird View Post
I don't get the whole dealer support thing. I'm on the 3rd year with our Malibu and have never set foot in the Malibu dealer.
!
Really only applies if you've paid the premium for new with corresponding warranty.
Old    Ryan K (FastR3DN3K)      Join Date: Jun 2013       07-03-2013, 8:41 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
Really only applies if you've paid the premium for new with corresponding warranty.
Completely agree^^^. With a used boat, especially one that is in the prime of 5-7 years old, most of the issues and gremlins are taken care of and it's a 100% reliable boat that usually has no issues what so ever. But a brand new boat will always have some issues or gremlins that need to be worked out. Especially so if it's a new design/model or one with all kinds of new technology and features that weren't previously available in other models. Example: My Tige touch system was giving me hell for the first 2 weeks I owned it, along with stereo issues, but a trip back to the dealer at the break in service discovered a bad ground connection that was causing issues with both systems. I'm a pretty handy guy, but when you consider the miles of wiring and electronics in boats these days, I never would've been able to find it. Plus most new boats come with warranty packages that cover boat services too. My Tige has all normal services covered by them including oil changes and impellers. That can be a big money saver and deal maker for some people who are looking for a total overall value between different boat brands.
Old     (will5150)      Join Date: Oct 2002       07-03-2013, 11:17 AM Reply   
you can tell who the HARD CORE riders are with this thread- lol!

1) Does the wife like it- VERY important
2) Speed control- helps preserve # 1
3) Space/Storage/Layout
4) Wake versatility without 5K of extra ballast
5) Cost.. I just can't justify a 100K for a toy I use 5 months a year.
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       07-03-2013, 2:20 PM Reply   
1) wakeboarding wake - ability to get huge and nicely shaped as well as ability to produce a clean wake at low speeds for kids
2) reliability - I have low tolerance for poor quality and mechanical breakdowns
3) functionality - ease of use, storage capabilities, etc.
4) power / acceleration with weight
5) ownership cost - purchase price and estimated resale value
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-04-2013, 8:28 AM Reply   
1. Wake shape. All about the shape, everyone has a preference on shape, does the shape suit my riding?
2. Freeboard/ ballast: more than 1500 lbs please with room for 1-2k more
3. EASE of surf: I don't go out with intention to surf but if its rough and hot I like to just fill my stock ballast and go.
4. Functionality: is it easy to store stuff, are the seats good for adjusting the wake etc
5. Reliability: I need to get on the lake and do my thing all this fancy crap is cool but I'm realizing the tech is a bit much.
Old    Matt (Launch22)      Join Date: Jun 2013       07-04-2013, 8:59 PM Reply   
1- wake and ballast
2- speed controller " so the wife can drive"
3- heater !!!
4- tons of space
5- good looks


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Old    Preston (Bamabonners)      Join Date: Jul 2011       07-08-2013, 8:58 AM Reply   
1. Build quality - who cares about the wake if the boat is always in the shop
2. wake
3. ease of use
4. storage
5. seating
6. styling - gotta like how it looks (inside and outside)
Old     (MrPeepers)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-08-2013, 12:45 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
Wake -- consistent and easy for beginners and intermediates @22-23. Easy surf wake.
This might be my most important feature. I need a clean wake at slower speeds for beginners (wife, kids, friends, etc). I don't consider 22-23 to be beginner speeds though. My VLX cleans up at 17+ mph depending on the ballast. I just can't sacrifice that feature.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-08-2013, 1:01 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPeepers View Post
This might be my most important feature. I need a clean wake at slower speeds for beginners (wife, kids, friends, etc). I don't consider 22-23 to be beginner speeds though. My VLX cleans up at 17+ mph depending on the ballast. I just can't sacrifice that feature.
I totally agree. On my X-30 we can get a clean wake around that 16-17mph on both sides which is great for my kids as they get older ( I tow my son at 13 now but he is only 5) and beginners, but for adults even with full ballast we can go as slow as 21.
Old    Seahawks #1 Fan Robert T (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       07-08-2013, 7:30 PM Reply   
You go 22 to 24 mph to make the wake harder. This in turn gives you better reaction (pop) than a wake at 17 mph. A wake at 17 mph will also be wider and softer making it difficult to clear. It's better to MAN UP and get better faster. You can talk about it all day long but the pros got where they are going between 22 and 25 mph.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-08-2013, 8:01 PM Reply   
Okay Robert, I don't need a perfect wake at 17 but its nice to slow down to feel out new inverts before going at it full bore
Old     (JetRanger)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-09-2013, 9:09 AM Reply   
I'd like to point out my top 5 things that are NOT important:

1) Surf wake or any kind of surf system
2) Filling the ballast in 90 seconds or less
3) Picking a WW approved brand (MB, Malibu)
4) Storage
5) Wakeboard wake when not slam-dizzled!

Top 5 things:

1) What the squish think
2) What the guys on Planet Nautique or Teamtalk think
3) Wakeboard wake at 24 mph, 80 ft and 4K
4) Stereo
5) Cost and exclusivity
Old    Seahawks #1 Fan Robert T (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       07-09-2013, 7:22 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplej View Post
Okay Robert, I don't need a perfect wake at 17 but its nice to slow down to feel out new inverts before going at it full bore
I didn't say you couldn't wakeboard at 17 mph. Just that most comps don't pull that slow and most boats wakes won't clean up that slow with ballast filled.
Old     (MrPeepers)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-10-2013, 6:31 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwb4me View Post
You go 22 to 24 mph to make the wake harder. This in turn gives you better reaction (pop) than a wake at 17 mph. A wake at 17 mph will also be wider and softer making it difficult to clear. It's better to MAN UP and get better faster. You can talk about it all day long but the pros got where they are going between 22 and 25 mph.

I didn't say you couldn't wakeboard at 17 mph. Just that most comps don't pull that slow and most boats wakes won't clean up that slow with ballast filled
Did you take a shot to the head lately? I thought we were pretty clear why we wanted clean wakes at 17 mph and it didn't even remotely involve the "pros" or "comps". It was for our wife and kids, you doofus.
Old    Brian Howard (turbojedi)      Join Date: Jun 2013       07-10-2013, 7:06 AM Reply   
1- wake
2- time it takes getting on plan slamed 4800 in ballast
3- solid speed control
4- no sacks on floor so storage
Old    Brian Howard (turbojedi)      Join Date: Jun 2013       07-10-2013, 7:12 AM Reply   
1- wake
2- time it takes getting on plan slamed out 4800 in lead and sacks
3- solid speed control
4- storage no sacks to trip over
5- solid tower
but truly the most important in the fun factor and the people your sharing the love of riding with, to me wake boarding in my church my peace in life, no matter whats going on when I ride it always seems to make things better..

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